Is vision and sight the same thing? No. Sight is what you see with your eyes open and vision is what you see when you close your eyes to imagine, dream and ponder what the future looks like. More specifically, I love the way Bill Hybels describes vision as “a picture of the future which makes it impossible to stay where you are.” This definition shows that vision is truly something in the future of how things could be. Something that when you dream you can see what this desired future state looks like, feels like and it stirs your emotions to put fire in your belly to take action, to create momentum toward this vision.
Vision motivates and drives you on and when you share your vision then it creates that same hunger in the team around you. As the leader, part of your role is to share where the business is heading and inspire the team, then the vision is amplified. When working in a team with alignment (where everyone is working together with a common purpose) it produces more than the sum of the individual parts. For example, two oxen are working together they can pull more than twice the weight of a single ox – collaboration breeds multiplication.
Our vision at Advanced Accounting is to forge a stronger, better and more resilient business community with world class leaders running and growing preeminent businesses built on the power of the people inside these businesses. Our purpose is to help passionate business owners achieve their goals doing what they love. We achieve this by working out where you are going, establishing where you are right now and then journey with you to get there. We believe if we can help inspire and educate more business leaders to develop themselves, their team and their business, then this has an incredible impact on our communities.
World class leaders build outstanding cultures inside the business they run which makes for a great work environment where people are more fulfilled, productive and energized. People enjoy working there and therefore are more upbeat and positive at home and in their personal lives. They have a higher level of self-confidence making them more capable in every area of life. Friendships are made inside the businesses and people feel supported and cared for, they bring the best of themselves to work every day.
The better the business, the better the profits, the more the people get paid and the more jobs created inside that business. Stronger businesses contribute more to the economy to create new and higher paid jobs which results in many benefits, both financially and socially. Business can and should help solve the social issues in our communities through raising the standard of living, creating better working conditions, the creation of new jobs and ultimately more profitable businesses leveraging resources to invest back into the communities they serve.
We help people realise their own vision, and by having a compelling vision for your business means you are not satisfied with the status quo and you need to make progress toward this vision. Progress means that you will need to change things, to change things means you need to innovate. A compelling vision magnifies innovation. What I mean when I talk about innovation is the process of improvement in any area of your business, not the invention of new technologies or something radical.
Vision is not a goal but a desired future state. The future state we see is raising the standard of living through business leaders solving the challenges we face today. Business is hard, we know and experience this every day, and so helping business owners get through today for a brighter tomorrow is a big part of what we do.
In the game of business each business has a life, a season and a stage.
The more you know and understand your business the greater leverage you have right now to maximise returns and to anticipate and plan for what’s next. A business can be likened to human life in that when you start up a business you are like a child learning to stand & take those first steps.
As your business moves into adolescence, you start employing people, having to build systems, train people, generating leads and creating enough work to keep people busy and pay all the bills. In the teenage years you are now responsible for yourself and often others around you, you need to foster friendships to support each other, study for exams and get a drivers licence to name a few. Your business is growing and there are lots of changes happening and it is important to ask for help from someone ahead of you in the game to help you learn and stay on track.
Once you get through adolescence, you are now a mature business which ready to take on the world. You have good people in your team, systems are strong, you can go away on holiday and your business keeps running and the bow wave of work keeps flowing in. As an adult many of us work full time, get married, become parents, buy our first home (with a mortgage). You are now forced into greater responsibility. This stage is great and you need to keep innovating and growing to keep pace with the economy you operate in.
The last stage of business is the decline and I would argue that this stage is optional in business. As a person we can’t help but get old and slow down however in business the more you refine and reinvent yourself aligned to your purpose the increased longevity of your business. I agree that business units have a limited life spans as products such as type writers become absolute. If a business whose purpose was “to provide businesses with tools to communicate faster” for example the business would continue to utilise and create the latest technology to build their business infinitely. From every ending comes a new beginning.
Everything that you do, no matter the stage you are in, needs to be tied to the purpose your business exists and follow the vision to forge ahead and create new beginnings constantly. Each person within a business including the founder has a season if the business is infinite and the person is not. This is where the value of succession planning comes in, planning to replace yourself is an extremely difficult thing to do and comes with so many different emotions, reservations and concerns. Many people find their identity in their business which makes it even harder again to separate you and the business. If this is the case for you then know that you are valuable and that who you are is not the business, you are so much more. Just having the awareness of this can be revolutionary for what it can do for your business, it allows you to think differently and ask new questions to remove limiting thoughts and emotions.
Wherever you are on the journey, enjoy it, learn what you can, surround yourself with good people and use your business as a tool to achieve the things you want.
Goal setting is often talked about but seldom do people actually have anything written down and it is normally more of a nice to have rather than something that they are truly willing to chase after. Many studies have proven that people with clearly thought out and written down goals are more successful and often achieve the goals that they have set. In my experience goals provide focus, it gives the person something to aim for. People are competitive by nature, it is why we have sports and in the game of business it is no different; we want to win. The goals you set for your business help to provide the way in which you “win” and this is different for each person because each person defines success in a different way based on their makeup and life experiences.
There are many ways that you can set goals. There are large amounts of resources online that can show you different methods and with so much choice it is important not to get overwhelmed. Find a way that works for you and set some goals around what you want your life, family and business to look like. Start simple and develop your own process over time. If something does not work well then pivot and adjust the process looking back at what you have learnt.
Furthermore having goals that you really want means that the journey is often difficult. It comes at a cost of sacrificing time, energy and resources to pursue your goals. When things get tough people often abandon their new course of action because there is no drive to push them through it, no force compelling enough to stand strong. Gym memberships soar in January however come February a lot of those people have dropped out, many people after hearing of health issues and the need to change lifestyle habits regularly don’t change anything long term. The reason why you have set the goals needs to be one to provide motivation so that you will chase after the goal in the face of adversity.
In the dynamic world of business there are so many factors that are variable and you will inevitably get knocked around. The tough times can be some of the greatest lessons you will ever learn. The tough times create increased levels of determination and perseverance if you have the right mind set. Reflecting back on the moments of hardship to know what to avoid and what to improve on next time while focusing on the goal ahead can be invaluable in years to come.
“Life is like a slingshot, the further you get set back the further you can reach” Michael Jr